Published on: 13-Dec-2018
Research Paper in Science Advances – Associate Professor Cao Bin
We would like to extend our congratulations to Associate Professor Cao Bin on the publication of his research paper entitled “Engineering a light-responsive, quorum quenching biofilm to mitigate biofouling on water purification membranes” in Science Advances on 7 Dec 2018. The first two authors Manisha and Yidan are a postdoc (CEE) and a PhD student (IGS SCELSE), respectively, in Dr. Cao’s group.
Quorum quenching (QQ) has been reported to be a promising approach for membrane biofouling control. Entrapment of QQ bacteria in porous matrices is required to retain them in continuously operated membrane processes and to prevent uncontrollable biofilm formation by the QQ bacteria on membrane surfaces. It would be more desirable if the formation and dispersal of biofilms by QQ bacteria could be controlled so that the QQ bacterial cells are self-immobilized, but the QQ biofilm itself still does not compromise membrane performance.
In this study, we engineered a QQ bacterial biofilm whose growth and dispersal can be modulated by light through a dichromatic, optogenetic c-di-GMP gene circuit in which the bacterial cells sense near-infrared (NIR) light and blue light to adjust its biofilm formation by regulating the c-di-GMP level. We also demonstrated the potential application of the engineered light-responsive QQ biofilm in mitigating biofouling of water purification forward osmosis membranes. The c-di-GMP–targeted optogenetic approach for controllable biofilm development we have demonstrated here should prove widely applicable for designing other controllable biofilm-enabled applications such as biofilm-based biocatalysis.
The paper can be found via this link:
About the journal
Science Advances is the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) open access multidisciplinary journal, publishing impactful research papers and reviews in any area of science, in both disciplinary-specific and broad, interdisciplinary areas. Led by a team of distinguished scientists, Science Advances supports the AAAS mission by extending the capacity of Science magazine to identify and promote significant advances in science and engineering across a wide range of areas.
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